The Folly of Big Noise

I called my best friend an anti-Semite yesterday. Although we’ve been friends for over two decades, he was acting like one and I was going to say it to him, to his face, via email.

He sent me an email with an article with a subject headlined “interesting” about how Israel is loosing friends in the western world partially because of the settlements. I was upset, the article he sent me said nothing of the legality of the settlements or of the terrorism that Israel faces regardless of their choice to build or not to build. He was upset that I called him an anti-Semite and I was upset. So we decided to hash it out as we always do, during a run around Mission Bay. But in the middle of explaining to him in between out of shape breaths, how biased he is and how much information he leaves out and how bad it is in Israel, it dawned on me, the reason why the world hears about Palestinians and Israel is partially because Jews make a huge fuss about it.

Kurds have their issues, so do Iraqis, so do Western Sahara but the reason why there so much emphasis on Israel and Palestinians to Israel’s dismay, is because Jews share, Jews write, Jews begin the propaganda war. Is it surprising that when 20 million people begin to yell seven billion respond?Who would know or think about Palestinians if Israel did not drum up the bells, if Jews did not condemn every media source which would dare omit the story of another person killed in Israel?

But is it surprising that the only events that get media attention are those where blood is spilled? Jews and Israelis are so desensitized to Palestinian arguments that even though there are daily protests in Palestine, no matter how many protests Palestinians make, no matter what they do, they completely fail to make any indent in the media or get the slightest attention unless there is massive violence. As soon as there is a speck of blood, Israel creates a huge storm even if it is only one or two people. Meanwhile hundreds die around the world in far worse incidents of terrorism. Girls are abducted in Nigeria, students massacred in Mexico, hundreds die in Syria. Israel living in a hotbed of extremism should be almost happy that it is actually relatively safe. It should expect some terrorism although never accept it. I am not saying that any of violence should be allowed, but I am saying the proportionality of Jewish response in the media (not with troops) far exceeds that which gets even in America media when Americans are harmed or arrested abroad.

It is hard to tell whether the Jewish blow horn saves lives or causes the issue to be worse. Not to compare the problem to training dog or kids, but some lessons can be learned for when you enter a house and your dog jumps on you, you don’t yell or scold because it is what it wants, you ignore it until it learns to behave. Same with kids, if they are ignored, they will find trouble to get into if they must get attention and the only way to get them to behave is not to give attention when they misbehave, but give attention to them. It is fair to say that Palestinians are new to modern society, to modern way of resolving issues. Just like Gandhi or Nelson Mandela it will take Jews and Palestinians time to realize that violence and anger will cause harm to both while it was dialogue and calm and respect not violence which got India their country and black South Africans their rights.

This means that it will also require for the Jews to stop reacting in a violent manner, as their reaction continues to  re-enforce the behavior on the Palestinian side. If Israel and Jews of diaspora reacted calmly to the attacks, as horrible as they are, they would get less traction, they would provide Hamas with less exposure and thus with less money for terror and their alternative just might become, peace.

Many in Israel believe that Palestinians understand only the language of violence. Palestinians think the same of Israel since only through violence do Israelis respond to Palestininians. At some point, the two will have to learn and someone will have to take the first step. The question is, will it be the Jews or the Palestinians?

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